T20 ‘ripe for corruption’: May

LONDON: International players’ union FICA chief executive Tim May has warned that Twenty20 cricket is “ripe for corruption” and urged the sport’s administrators to exercise extreme care.

“Twenty20 is just ripe for corruption — the shorter the game the more influence each particular incident can have,” the former Australia off-spinner said in an interview in the March issue of The Wisden Cricketer magazine which goes on sale this Friday.

“So I think it opens up a great deal of opportunities for the bookmakers to try and corrupt players into providing various different outcomes in the game, if not the result itself. Cricket needs to be very, very careful.”

May was also critical of the way the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) dealings with players. “The refusal to grant players the ability to review the security arrangements and the decision of the IPL and its franchises not to recognise or deal with any players’ managers or agents, is self-defeating,” he said. “Its decision-making is very arrogant.”

Cricket only recently emerged from a nasty episode of revelations about match-fixing when in 2000 Hansie Cronje, then South Africa captain, admitted to taking money from bookmakers. It spiralled into a full enquiry headed by Condon’s team at the ICC.

Since then the game has stayed clean but the rise of Twenty20 has created new vulnerable areas. In July last year Dave Richardson, the ICC general manager, said the ICC was ‘concerned’ and that the IPL will “inevitably attract the interest of match-fixers and people like that.” Seeking avenues to protect the Test game, May said a Test championship would add much-needed context to the format.

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